Fifth graders at Dickinson Avenue Elementary School welcomed Sergeant Paul Spinella of the Suffolk Count Sherriff’s Office to their classrooms on Nov. 13 in celebration of World Kindness Day. He read the Disney book, “The Magic is in You, to students, emphasizing the importance of treating others with respect and engaged the students in activities where he taught them about how to be an upstander rather than a bystander. “We all have the power to change the world beginning with one kind act,” he said.
In a letter to the students, Sgt. Spinella wrote, “You showed me that you are all experts in kindness and that kindness is something that the students of Dickinson [Avenue] Elementary School take seriously. You are a special group of students and you should be proud of your efforts to include all students every day.”
In addition to Sgt. Spinella’s visit, students across all grade levels kicked off the school’s latest initiative, “One Book – One School.” Each classroom read aloud “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson, which tells the story of a child, new to a school, who struggles to make connections with friends.
“By sharing one book with students across all grade levels, we share the love of reading with our entire school community,” Principal Laurie Welch Storch said. “We aim to further build a community of readers at our school, while exploring ways in which we can spread kindness throughout our community.”